Kenneth Widmerpool is a fictional character in Anthony Powell's novel
sequence A Dance to the Music of Time, a 12-volume account of upper-
class and bohemian life in Britain between 1920 and 1970. Widmerpool is
the antithesis of the sequence's narrator-hero Nicholas Jenkins.
Initially presented as a comic, even pathetic figure, he becomes
increasingly formidable, powerful and ultimately sinister as the novels
progress, his only sphere of failure being his relationships with women.
Widmerpool's defining characteristics are lack of culture, small-
mindedness and a capacity for intrigue; he is able to achieve his
positions of dominance through dogged industry and self-belief. Thus he
represents the meritocratic middle class's challenge to the declining
power of the "establishment", revealed to have few defences against such
an assault. Among suggested real-life models have been Edward Heath, the
British prime minister 1970–74, and Reginald Manningham-Buller, who
was Britain's Attorney General in the 1950s; Powell gave little
encouragement to such theorising. The novel sequence ends with
Widmerpool's death, in bizarre circumstances arising from his
involvement with a New Age-type cult.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Widmerpool>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Charles II was crowned King of England, Ireland, and Scotland
at Westminster Abbey.
Second World War: In retaliation for the Royal Air Force
bombing of Lübeck several weeks prior, the Luftwaffe began a series of
bombing raids in England, starting with Exeter.
Batting against Vic Raschi of the St. Louis Cardinals, Hank
Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his then-record 755 home
runs in Major League Baseball.
In the midst of the Algerian War, French President Charles de
Gaulle delivered a televised speech calling on military personnel and
civilians to oppose a coup d'état attempt against him.
The Coca-Cola Company introduced "New Coke" to replace its
flagship soft drink Coca-Cola, which generated so much negative response
that the company put the previous formula back on the market less than
three months later.
Gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was detected, coming from the most
distant known astronomical object of any kind at the time.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(usually pejorative) One who loves or worships the works of William
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Now I will believe That there are unicorns; that in Arabia There
is one tree, the phoenix' throne, one phoenix At this hour reigning
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